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Published: Monday 23 September, 2013

discount michael kors watches discount michael kors watches Acidic oceans threaten marine life

Leaving aside the direct effects of greenhouse gases on climate change, the oceans mop up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere so that levels of carbonic acid rise. There are fears that the resulting rise in acidity could particularly affect sea creatures with hard shells because it cuts the availability of calcium carbonate chalk which coral reefs, clams, molluscs and some plankton use to produce their hard skeletons.

Now it seems that the rise in the acidity of the seas has another effect on shellfish. Many marine creatures, from crabs and lobsters to discount michael kors watches molluscs, are able to protect themselves from predators by growing thicker shells whe discount michael kors watches n they are under greater threat.

Today, in the journal Biology Letters, Dr Simon Rundle of the University of Plymouth and colleagues there and at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory report that this common ability is disrupted in the case of the common periwinkle, which thickens its shell in the presence of predatory shore crabs. This thickening was absent when snails grew in acidified seawater; these snails also had disrupted physiologies and behaviour.

Although the experiments were performed under laboratory conditions that aimed to mimic extreme future acidification scenario they do suggest, however, that effects of seawater acidification are likely to be more extensive than previously thought and extent beyond direct effects, said Dr Rundle. The effects will be even more pr discount michael kors watches onounced. If this is common, it could alter the way marine food webs work, he added.

One recent study from California State University found that half of the carbon emitted by human activities over the last two centuries has entered the oceans. Another, by the US Livermore National Laboratory, predicts that the release of carbon dioxide during the next several centuries will increase ocean acidity more rapidly than during the past 300 million years, except perhaps during global catastrophes.

Increased acidity may also directly affect the growth and reproduction rates of fish, as well as affecting the plankton populations which they rely on for food, and have potentially disastrous consequences for marine food webs. discount michael kors watches